Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Whiff of Scandal

One of the surest signs of an administration in freefall is when the whiff of scandal begins to take hold, especially when it’s a Democratic administration because the MSM tries to shield them until the MSM decides they are sure to lose. So it’s interesting that so many scandals are suddenly appearing.

GSAgate: The GSA scandal just keeps getting worse. First, you had a video of several GSA employees playing around rather than working. Then you had reports of $800k used to party in Vegas, and $900k used on expensive gifts for employees. Then more videos came out of GSA employees playing around. Over the weekend, we heard that criminal charges have been recommended by the Inspector General for many of these same party-goers, along with allegations of bribery and kickbacks. The head of the department has resigned, as have several other senior individuals. Some have pled the Fifth before Congress! Now we hear of a senior GSA employee who took his wife to Hawaii, Guam and the Mariana Islands on the taxpayer’s dime as a birthday gift. . . even after the Vegas scandal hit the news. And we’ve learned that GSA employees routinely invented fake awards so they could get the government to pay for food at meetings. Those are criminal acts.

This is the death of a thousand small scandals. Moreover, these are the types of scandals which catch people’s attention because it’s easy to understand -- unlike something like Fast and Furious. What’s worse, the Democrats are responding poorly by trying to allege this IG investigation is nothing more than a GOP smear or a "war on Vegas." That’s never worked. And Obama stepped in it by trying to claim this was Bush’s fault. That laid this firmly on Obama doorstep because his responding confirmed that this is something which sits at the presidential level of accountability.

Air Farce One: Anyone remember Pelosi’s plane? Well, Leon Panetta is now answering questions about why the taxpayers had to pay to fly him home on weekends to California at a cost of $860,000 so far. He’s apologizing to anyone who will listen, which means he knows this too is the sort of thing taxpayers remember, especially in an administration known for taxpayer-funded vacations and golf.

Boogie Down Secret Agent Man: The Secret Service is in the middle of a growing scandal as we learn that between 11-20 of their agents decided to party with a group of hookers in Cartagena, Columbia. I doubt the public wouldn’t attribute this to Obama, except for two things. First, when scandal is in the air, all scandals touching an administration get sucked in and become a pattern of misbehavior or mismanagement. Secondly, Obama put his foot in his mouth saying he would be “angry” if this proved to be true. This makes Obama sound like a chump because this goes back to his not knowing “whose ass to kick” in the Gulf of Mexico. It also makes it sound like these men were directly under his authority. He should have said he trusted the Secret Service to determine the facts and sort this out.

Crony Industrial Policy: As we discussed yesterday and several times in the past, Obama’s fascist-inspired industrial policy has fallen apart in record time, and many of these are finally hitting the airwaves. This is why even the MSM is beginning to question why companies like Solyndra, Enerl, Beacon Power, Solar Trust for America, and others could possibly have gone bankrupt so quickly, sucking down so much government money. . . after making sizeable donations to Team Donkey.

Bad Touch: Finally, there is a state-level sexual harassment scandal unfolding in North Carolina, where the NC Democratic Party executive director resigned Sunday after it was revealed he had paid a former staffer to keep quiet about sexual harassment allegations. Normally, this would be no big deal nationally, except for a couple facts: (1) this blew up in the middle of the whiff of scandal moment (and a slow news cycle), (2) it happened right after Hilary Rosen’s broadside against motherhood, which happened right as the Democrats charged the GOP with waging a war against women, and (3) the governor made it so much worse. Indeed, Governor Bev Perdue told reporters to “get over it” when she was asked about the scandal, despite the fact she had just declared April to be “Sexual Assault Awareness Month.” She finally joined calls for the resignation, but the damage was done. Between this and Rosen, the Democratic propaganda about a war on women has exploded in a huge ball of hypocritical fire.

This is all bad news for Obama and the Democrats. It’s not that any one of these scandals is truly bad by itself, it’s that they are getting noticed by the MSM. This suggests the MSM knows Obama is doomed and they’ve decided to gain some credibility on his back by taking down all kinds of peripheral players. This will allow them to pretend they are unbiased when they start hunting for (and manufacturing) scandals under the Romney administration. I’ve seen this every time a Democrat is in trouble.

The one thing that may save them, however, is this fact: according to data compiled by the IRS, only 85 million people actually paid Federal tax last year. That’s only 27% of the population. Yes, you read that correctly. Only 1 in 4 Americans paid federal tax. That means 3 in 4 Americans are getting a free ride on the Federal government. By comparison, 49% of Americans, 147 million people, live in a household where someone received benefits from the government. This means a tremendous class of people is being created who will keep voting for more government, and that means Democrats.

That makes this election extremely important. The Republicans must cut these people off. They must break this cycle of dependence before it takes hold and they need to make more people pay taxes. This is vital the future. They should also mercilessly mock these scandals.

64 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

Even though some of these scandals could easily happen under either party's watch, it is nice they are happening under Obama's in an election year. Sure the media will do their best to circle the wagons, but some things just can't be hidden.

27% of people pay taxes. Unfortunately, that does cut both ways. To the liberal mind (particularly women liberals) it means the evil capitalist system is so unfortunate, all the money flows to a priviledged few. And, Repubs better be ready to do a good job on this gasoline tax. With the media's adid, this one has the stink of being similar to Congress is ruining our credit rating.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Not only be relentless on mocking the scandals, but also remind the ones who voted for him, Obama never was going to pay them from Obama's Stash. He only pays his cronies. What was that woman said, "Obama Money, he pays out of his stash." If they did, how much did they get? A few measly dollars.

This election may be won if we keep it simple. Obama lied, people cried.

T-Rav said...

I guess Obama wanted the Secret Service to know that the emperor was displeased.

Bev Purdue is an idiot. I'm pretty sure she's the woman who complained last year that the best way to fix the country's problems would be to suspend elections until Obama could work everything out. I don't think she's running for re-election, or at least I hope not.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I actually don't blame Obama for any of this. But the fact the media is running with it, makes me think that they have decided he is done and they want to gain some credibility by attacking him. And he's been very stupid to involve himself in these things. He should have stood back and acted like these were agency matters.

I think the 27% tax thing is bad for us all around because it means not enough people pay taxes, which means too few people have any reason to oppose increasing the size of government. That must be changed fast!

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That's a good point. Obama never came through with his promises to "his people", he just paid his cronies.

In any event, I think these are the kinds of things Republicans need to keep pointing out because if even the media is pointing them out, then the public is interested.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Yes, that's her -- she suggested suspending election so the Democrats could fix the countries problems.

I think her scandal right now is fascinating because of the timing. The Democrats have worked hard to push this "war on women" meme, and then Hilary Rosen goes and attacks mothers, and now Perdue basically tries to laugh off a sexual harassment scandal. A year ago, this wouldn't have mattered. Now it does.

I'm sure Obama is just telling the Secret Service he's displeased, but he probably should have kept his mouth shut. When presidents comments on something, they raise the issue "to the presidential level."

AndrewPrice said...

OT: Did anyone hear about this fundraising letter from Santorum in which he says a Romney presidency frightens him? LINK.

I told you this guy would not go away. His plan is to undermine Romney so he can claim that Republicans need to run a religious right person.

There will be more.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I didn't think it was possible for an administration to out-scandal LBJ and Nixon. I was wrong. I suspect we're only seeing the things Obama couldn't cover up. Can't wait to see the revelations after we send Obama back to Chicago.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, This could easily be one of the most corrupt administrations in history. It is the Chicago way, I guess, and we shouldn't be surprised.

DUQ said...

Andrew, It's funny because I have noticed all these scandals and it somehow didn't occur to me that this shows the MSM has turned on Obama. But you are right, they would not have reported this stuff, at least not in depth, a year ago.

DUQ said...

Also, I agree with you about Santorum. He will work to undermine Romney.

Writer X said...

If it weren't for talk radio and blogs, news of these scandals would have been swept under the rug. Can you imagine a GSA-like scandal under Bush? The MSM would have developed permanent foam at the mouth.

You know things are tough for Obama when he has to trot out his dog for fundraising.

Tennessee Jed said...

so, I guess Santorum is not a "team player" after all. As an adult, I will not refer to his by the ephitet which I'm thinking. I will do this, instead. I want to apologize to all my Commentara friends & the people of planet earth for my past actions. They are, in retrospect, unforgivable. Twice I voted for that little jerk for U.S. Senator in Pennsylvania.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I've seen this every time a Democrat looks like they're finished, the MSM starts to pile on. They do it so they can pretend to be unbiased and credible. That way, when they savage Romney, and we call them biased, they can say, "no, we went after Obama too." But the reality is, they don't start piling on until it's clear the guy is finished.

It's the same way 60 Minutes waited to attack Pelosi until after it was clear she would never be the Speaker again.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, Yes indeed. But Americans love dogs... much more than bad presidents.

In the past, these scandals probably would have been ignored. But with the blogs and talk radio pushing them, the MSM really can't ignore them. But what I think is really telling is that these scandals are being reported on thoroughly. I don't think that would have happened even a year ago when they still hoped he could turn things around.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, LOL! He was the better alternative at the time, so that's ok. But no, I don't think he's a team player at all. I think this is pretty strong proof that he's still trying to undermine Romney with evangelicals in the hopes that they don't turn out and then he loses the election. Then he can run in 2016 and claim that running anyone other than a Religious Right true believer will lead to disaster.

Let us hope, talk radio and others finally stop protecting him. I will be curious to hear what they say about this issue.

StanH said...

It’s almost as if Barry and the media are setting up a run against himself, as the challenger and not the incumbent. In other words Romney represents the failed policies of the past, and Barry represents the future. This a twisted strategy, but if you look with open eyes, he has nothing, it’s all crap.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, Obama's campaign strategy (which I'll talk about tomorrow) is to run against "the Republican record." It won't work, but it's what he's going to try.

K said...

I don't remember any particularly large changes to the tax laws under Obama (pls correct me if I'm wrong)so didn't the tax rate, which allows a majority to not pay taxes happen under Bush 2?

Has Romney addressed this or will he be effectively Bush 3?

BTW, I live in California and my wife and I have paid 40 percent of our incomes for the last 10 years in taxes.

You're welcome, tax deadbeats.

AndrewPrice said...

K, This problem actually goes back to Reagan in 1986. In exchange for flatter tax rates, Reagan agreed to take millions of people off the tax rolls at the bottom. That began the problem. And with an over-stated yearly cost of living adjustment, this bottom level has crept higher each year in real terms. Add in the constantly increasing number of deduction and you end up with fewer and fewer people paying.

Of all people, John Boehner tried to address this in the budget deal, but talk radio freaked out that "he's raising taxes!" Well, yes. How else do you make more people pay taxes without "raising taxes"? The idea is to eliminate deductions, push rates down across the board, and make more people pay taxes. If done properly, this results in a smaller, simpler tax system (closer to a flat tax) with more people paying and the government overall taking in less.

Ryan's budget does something similar. Will Romney adopt it? I think he will.

I've paid 40% pretty much my whole life as well, with a couple years where it was higher. I get screwed every year.

T-Rav said...

27 percent. 27 freakin' percent. Can it be much longer before our country implodes?

Doc Whoa said...

This is bad news for Obama. Scandal taints everything and once it sticks, it never goes away. It's ironic that Obama probably isn't to blame for any of this, but I don't mind pinning the blame on him. He should have learned to STFU.

Doc Whoa said...

T-Rav, I was shocked by that too! I thought it was maybe down to 45% or something. This is amazing!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Yep. 27%. I don't see how our country can continue like this with only 1 in 4 paying taxes and 1 in 2 getting benefits. The government has basically becomes a way for the majority to suck the majority that make the country function dry.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, I had the same thought. But the data is genuine, it comes from the IRS itself.

I agree, I think Obama has made this worse by commenting. He should have remained silent or said, "I have faith in the Inspectors General and I am confident they will correct this." And you're right, once a reputation for dishonesty or corruption attaches, there is shedding it.

Patriot said...

Couple things......27%?! Is that just the people who owe federal tax on their 1040's? Because anyone who works and gets a paycheck is forced to pay federal tax. So if that's the case, then we only have 27% of people working in this country!

Second....Little Barry reminds me more and more of the Bill Paxton character in True Lies when he's got Jamie Lee Curtis in his trailer and is trying to seduce her........."If you won't do it for me, do it for your country!?"

Expect to see more appeals to patriotism and love of country over a President.

rlaWTX said...

OK - I only make $32K (no dependents, standard deductions) and I paid taxes. Who are these people that are not paying??????? HOW!?! There is something seriously screwed up. I don't mind paying taxes - and I live in TEXAS so no state income tax. But - are you kidding me!?!?!

[deep cleansing breaths]

as for the scandals, every so often I ask my g'parents if they've heard about such-and-such. Now, g'pa does watch Fox, but he sleeps through half of it. And they have been hearing about more stuff lately - that's how I gauge the MSM. Do you think they are concerned about their credibility in the face of New Media, or do they not want to seem irrelevant if TOTUS loses?

rlaWTX said...

Patriot, there's also the scene in Grease 2...

Patriot said...

WTX....yeah...that one's good too!!

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, That 27% is people who owed federal income tax on their income for the year. That excludes payments into Social Security and Medicare as those are not considered "tax" for some messed up reason.

All told, 144 million people "worked" last year, which ranges from flipping burgers to running your own company. That is 46% of the population. But 19% of those people did not pay any income taxes on their earnings.

The other 166 million did not work or earn taxable income of any sort.


Good call on Obama being like Paxton. He's got that whole "no idea what I'm doing, flying by the seat of my pants, trying to sound important" thing going!

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: This administration is at least as corrupt as the Grant administration, and at least Grant's sin was not knowing what was going on behind his back. His biggest sin was negligence. Obama actively encourages this corruption.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I've known people who have made six figures and managed to not pay taxes for years because they had the right deductions. It's amazing. I could go on and on about how wrong our tax system is. My income fluctuates, so I keep being hit with penalties and massive tax hits in one year and then little the next. I've got loses I can't carry over, etc. Heads they win, tails I lose. It's maddening.


I have friends I use to judge how hard the MSM is pushing something. I also look at The Economist and the front page of Yahoo as they pretty much follow the herd. All of the information I've included here has been the subject of much reporting in those sources. They don't necessarily lay it in Obama's lap, but his name creeps up in it time and again.

I think they are doing it to gain credibility. All the polls suggest that Obama is toast. And I think what they are doing is attacking him in minor ways now so they can go full on against Romney. And if Obama wins, then they won't have done anything major -- they're still ignoring Fast and Furious, for example.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX and Patriot, I'm not familiar with the scene you are talking about?

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I've felt for some time that we are in the Second Gilded Age and a comparison to Grant is very appropriate. The parallels to that age of financial scandals, Treasury raiding, cronyism and outright fraud are amazing. It deserves a book, in truth.

BevfromNYC said...

This has everything to do with Obama's 2008 campaign. He promised to get our "house in order"; to go through those budgets with a scalpel and cut the needless spending of the evil Republicans. It's not just one incident; it's accumulative. I don't really CARE if this stuff has been happening in other administrations. The fact is that it is STILL happening now and THE promise was to stop it. It's just more empty BS promises of "change"!

This all goes to the heart of the Tea Party platform. People laugh at us for forcing these kinds of issue like out of control $800K Las Vegas junkets and vacations. We have a financial crisis and our Federal workers are spending as if there is no crisis. That and add that Federal workers owe $1Billion dollars in back taxes! We know where they work - Garnish their wages!!!

Oh, and just a little advice for the men...pay the prostitutes and you will save yourself a lot of trouble and embarrassment...

Doc Whoa said...

Andrew, It would have been smarter for him to stay out these things, but that's not his style. He has no judgment for what he should talk about.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, That is very true. He doesn't seem to have a sense for priorities.

What's funny is that even Barney Frank attacked him for this last weekend, saying Obama should have backed off ObamaCare and done something else first after the Scott Brown election.

Patriot said...

Bev...Perhaps the Secret Service guys were just haggling about the exchange rate and value of the US Dollar these days?! Just good stewardship of the taxpayers money! Or trying to calculate their federal tax burden on "Miscellaneous" on their travel vouchers?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Now you tell me! So much trouble I could have avoided by just paying those darn prostitutes. ;)

Seriously, you are 100% right. The big problem Obama faces is that he promised to fix everything. He was going to restructure the economy to save us from collapse... restructure the banks to save us from too big to fail... restructure our relationship with the world to make everyone like us... go through the government and cut out all the abusive practices, the wasteful practices, the corruption. He did none of it.

To the contrary, he comes across like a guy who is paying no attention whatsoever, who spends his days golfing and letting his wife take expensive vacations, and who then tries to fake his way through scandals -- "heck yeah I'm upset about this. I'm outraged, and I will be mad if whatever it is isn't fixed... what are we talking about again?"

He's like a lazy boss.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, Now that's solid thinking! You should apply for a Press Secretary job. ;)

Patriot said...

How come we haven't heard if any of the USSS folks were there for SECSTATE visit? Did any of her entourage bring back pros (male or female) back to their rooms? Or were they all there just for the POTUS?

Inquiring minds want to know......

Patriot said...

NC Gov Perdue is done. Wasn't this a same sex scandal? If so, NC follows the old Huey Long adage......"The only way I'll lose this election if I'm caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl." (Think it was him that said it)

Having been an NC resident for many a year, they will put up with a lot from their politicians except that....and not taking care of their "constituents." "Is you or is you ain't my constituents?!"

Joel Farnham said...

I think that the latest Presidential Gallup Poll is the only one that they haven't massaged to get an outcome based result. The 48% Romney and 43% Obama one.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, Hillary's Secret Service team had no problems because when Bill is around, all the local prostitutes are already engaged. ;)


I'm no expert on NC politics, so I don't know if she's done or not. I suspect she's in trouble though as things are trending Republican, because of this scandal and because of her veto of the state's voter fraud act. I only mentioned this scandal because it's getting play because of its horrible timing. With the Democrats going on and on about a war on women, this was the worst time for a Democratic governor to tell the media to ignore a sexual harassment scandal.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I've seen several where they are neck and neck, and then Gallup Poll. Gallup is usually 5% to far to the left, though I doubt Obama could be below 43%.

I think it's funny Axelrod attacked Gallup over this poll. How telling!

Ed said...

I will be so glad to see the backend of this guy. Send him back to Chicago.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Those will be happy days!

DUQ said...

I just saw that Dick Clark died. He was 82, even though he still looked 42. RIP

rlaWTX said...

Grease 2: the scene in the fallout bunker where one of the TBirds is pressuring his girl for sex - "do it for your country"
[was compared to the True Lies scene]

rlaWTX said...

RIP Dick Clark - 10 years younger than my grandfather... 82 isn't as old as I used to think it was.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, That makes me sad. I actually suspected he was immortal? I guess not.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Ah, thanks. I haven't seen that one in ages and I'd forgotten about that!

Yeah, 82 is not nearly as old as it used to be. It's funny because when I was young, people dying in their 60s made sense to me. These days anything less than 70s or 80s just seems wrong.

BevfromNYC said...

I feel the same as when Jack LaLanne died. Dick Clark just wasn't supposed to die...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's kind of how I feel about it. He's not someone I figured would ever die and it's strange that he has.

Tennessee Jed said...

Lived in Drexelbrook for a year when Dick Clark lived there at the beginning of his career. Bandstand was a classic, particularly before it moved to California. Don't know if anybody watched the show American Dreams on t.v. a few years back. It was about a family in Philly where the oldest daughter was a regular on Bandstand. They did a neat job using old footage interspersed with modern actors to portray people like Roy Orbison, etc.

Also, Pat Summit just resigned from U.T. due to her early onset dementia. Nobody ever has done more to promote the women's game. She will be missed.

T-Rav said...

RIP Dick Clark. New Year's Eve won't be the same without him.

tryanmax said...

Facepalm of the morning: after months of lamenting how Romney brutalized poor Santorum, RWR is now wringing its proverbial hands over whether Mitt is tough enough to take it to Obama.

Joel Farnham said...

Right Wing Radio is getting stupid. And if they are so stupid as to think that Romney won't take it to Obama.... It is Romney that is reminding everyone, it isn't about the dog meat Obama ate, it is about the jobs that Obama, through regulation and overtaxing the producers of this country, is destroying or preventing new jobs being creating.

ARRRGHHHH!!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, They are idiots. There is just no other way of putting it.

These are the same people who whined how horrible Romney was with his evil slash and burn, now they claim he's not tough? Give me a break.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Yep, Romney is the guy blasting away at Obama and has been the guy for months as they've all just whined about Romney.

Patti said...

i think it's time in the political season for us to don our hazmat suits. you won't want any of that stickin' to ya!

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, With this president, you do indeed need a hazmat suit.

tryanmax said...

Joel, Andrew, but to hear RWR tell it, Romney is just starting to take it to Obama (because he was trashing Ricky full-time until now, I suppose). They are perfect clones of the MSM in the way they spin their own false realities out of whole cloth.

Uh oh, my scalp is starting to feel warm again...

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That sounds like RWR. And I'm sure they will also lay claim to any great attacks Romney made. No doubt, they will claim that Romney was a weak candidate who sat around afraid to say anything until they pushed him and showed him how it needs to be done.

It's a shell game.

Did they mention Santorum's letter?

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